DOM. Whether illuminated in a pool of eerie blue floodlighting or eclipsing the sun with its colossal spires, the Dom, Germany’s greatest cathedral, is the first thing to greet travelers as they enter the city. A chapel inside on the right houses a 15th-century triptych that depicts the city’s five patron saints. Behind the altar in the center of the choir is the Shrine of the Magi, the most sacred element of the cathedral, which reportedly holds the remains of the Three Kings. Before exiting the choir, stop in the Chapel of the Cross to admire the 10th-century Gero crucifix, which is the oldest intact sculpture of a crucified Christ with his eyes shut. (Cathedral open daily 6am-7pm. Free. Tours in English M-Sa 10:30am and 2:30pm, Su 2:30pm. ‚4, children ‚2.) Fifteen minutes and 509 steps bring you to the top of the Sudturm tower. (Open May-
KUNST, KULTUR, AND KOLSCH
Forever in the shadow of the magnificent Dom, the area surrounding Cologne’s Altstadt is under-appreciated by most sightseers. But not you.
Q Most of the Fischmarht’s colorful Rheinisch facades are restorations, but the riverside atmosphere and jolly accordionists are originals.
Q The 15th-century Giirzenich hall is still used for festivities. (Mar-tinstr. 29. s 92 58 99 90.)
Give thanks for the advent of Roman plumbing at this sewer ruin. (At the intersection of Unter Goldschmied and Kleine Budengasse.)
Q The Brauhaus Fruh am Dom has served the best Kolsch in town since the 19th century. (Am Hof 12. s258 03 97.)
g Though your vision may be blurry from all that beer, don’t fret; so is the art at Wallraf-Richartz-Museum. (Martinstr. 39.)
Sept. 9am-6pm; Nov.-Feb. daily 9am-4pm; Mar.-Apr. and Oct. 9am-5pm. ‚2, studehts ‚1.) Catch your breath at the Glockenstube, a chamber with the tower’s nine bells, about three-quarters of the way up.